Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The Next Frontier Of Wellness: Your Pets

Forbes.com, June 18 2019
Serena Oppenheim, Contributor

With a fast-growing awareness about nutrition and our own health, it is not surprising that the next wave of wellness companies are not focused on humans, but on pets.

In terms of money spent on pets, the U.S. is by far the world leader with the U.K. a distant second. According to a recent Mintel Report, 95% of US pet owners consider their animals to be part of their family and nearly half of pet "parents" are as concerned about the health and wellbeing of their pet as they are a member of their human family (backed up by the fact that 44% of millennials see pets as their "starter children").

However, similar to the obesity epidemic among humans, 56% of dogs are estimated to be overweight or obese in the U.S. There has been a 911% increase in diabetes in cats and dogs since 2011. In addition, cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs - 1 in 3 dogs will develop cancer, which is the same incidence of cancer among men.

The pet industry in the U.S. as a whole is estimated to be worth $72 billion and 2018 figures suggest that $29.88 billion of that comes directly from pet food. Unlike with human food, however, the pet food industry is highly unregulated. Every year sees dozens of recalls. To date in 2019 there have been seven public pet food recalls and in 2018 there were nearly 50. Reasons have ranged from salmonella to euthanasia drugs being found even in some major pet food brands. In addition, many people don’t realize that some brands of pet food can actually be made up of animals who are diseased, dying, disabled, or dead.

To read more about this topic, click here....

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Fastest-Growing Job Sector?

Cannabis, Marijuana, Weed, Pot? Just Call It a Job Machine

The New York Times, Conor Dougherty
April 25, 2019

While cannabis may still be illegal on the federal level, 33 states now allow its sale for medical purposes at a minimum. Ten of those states, including California, have legalized recreational use. And as new markets open and capital continues to flood in, the cannabis industry has become, by some measures, one of the country’s fastest-growing job sectors.

A few years ago, navigating the marijuana industry felt like a journey to the fringes of legitimacy. Now cannabis dispensaries occupy brightly lit spaces on prime retail strips, with $80 pot lotions and $20 bars of pot soap. Six months ago, Canada became the first major world economy to legalize recreational marijuana use, and several dozen cannabis stocks — many for companies that are American in all but name but unable to list in the United States — now trade on the Canadian Securities Exchange.  For investors, it’s a two-pronged thesis. The first is that many people like recreational use. The second is that as cannabis becomes more widely used, it is increasingly a therapeutic remedy that people substitute for pain pills, sleep aids and other pharmaceuticals.

ZipRecruiter's data suggests that cannabis-related jobs nationwide currently stands at 200,000 to 300,000. While many of those jobs are on the lower end of the pay scale (consisting of rote agricultural work), there has also been a expansion in the demand for better-paid positions like chemists, software engineers, and nurses who consult with patients about using cannabis for anxiety and other medical conditions.

Meanwhile, the pioneers who brought the industry out of the shadows are being joined by professional managers and executives — “talent,” in corporate speak — who have had careers in other industries. For upper-level managers and executives, companies say they prefer candidates with a background in highly regulated industries like alcohol or pharmaceuticals.

To read more, click here...

Friday, May 10, 2019

The Retail Brokers Network

What is the Retail Brokers Network (RBN) and why did Equity Retail Brokers join?

The RBN is a national networking group founded in 1992 whose members are like us - successful independent brokerage firms that specialize in retail real estate. Upon joining in 2001, we wanted the ability to refer business nationally, while taking advantage of the shared booths at regional and national ICSC events. However, the greatest benefit has been the personal friendships we have formed and the positive affect they have had - and continue to have - on us as individuals and the company as a whole.

What value does Equity Retail Brokers get from membership in the RBN? 

Having brokers across the country that we "Know, Like and Trust" (that's the RBN motto!) gives us the ability to help our clients with their real estate needs locally and nationally. We get valuable market knowledge and expertise through relationships, regional and national RBN meetings, and monthly RBN calls on a variety of relevant real estate topics. The referrals we get from (and give to) RBN firms is a great value as well, of course.

What value do our clients get from our membership in the RBN? 

We use the information we gain from our involvement in the network to help our clients get deals done locally and nationally. Through access to people and information, the RBN provides us with expertise we otherwise wouldn't have, and allows us to make referrals to RBN firms in other markets, when needed. The end result is more problems solved and deals for our clients.

What do you like best about the RBN? 

I am in regular contact with like-minded real estate professionals around the country who I know, like and trust. We talk about real estate, our families and everything in between. I don't think I can count the quality friendships I enjoy as a result of the RBN. Oh, and we often make money together. How great is that?

Click here to learn more about the RBN, or stop by booth C-111 Union Street at ICSC RECon!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Best Retail Sales Since 2017

The Best Retail Sales Since 2017 Brighten US Growth Outlook

With first-quarter gross domestic product figures due April 26, the surprisingly strong retail report spurred economists to further increase projections.

By Reade Pickert | April 19, 2019

Photo by Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) Retail sales in the U.S. jumped by the most since September 2017 and first-time filings for unemployment benefits dropped to a fresh 49-year low, as a strong labor market gives American consumers the wherewithal to keep the economy chugging along.

The value of overall sales in March rose 1.6 percent, boosted by gains in motor vehicles and gasoline stations, after an unrevised 0.2 percent decrease the prior month, according to Commerce Department figures released Thursday. That exceeded all forecasts in Bloomberg’s survey calling for a 1 percent gain.

A Labor Department report released at the same time showed initial jobless claims fell last week to 192,000, the lowest since September 1969. Economists had projected an increase.

“The labor market is alive and well,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities LLC. Income gains support consumer spending and “as long as the labor market is doing well there is good reason to expect consumer spending should do fine.”

With first-quarter gross domestic product figures due April 26, the surprisingly strong retail report spurred economists to further increase projections. Analysts raised economic growth forecasts for the period Wednesday after a report showing the trade deficit unexpectedly narrowed in February. The economy had showed signs of slowing heading into 2019, before the U.S. central bank put rate hikes on indefinite hold and a government shutdown clouded the outlook.

(To read the rest of the article, go to www.globest.com:  Link to Full Article )

Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Outlandish Story Of Ollie’s

A $5 Billion Retail Empire That Sells Nothing Online (But Is Beating Amazon)

Abram Brown, Forbes Magazine                                                                                                            Photo by Harry Fellows
April 1, 2019

Ollie’s is very possibly the only company in America whose brick-and-mortar stores are not just surviving but thriving. It focuses exclusively on traditional retailing, selling not a thing online. Read that again: nothing sold online.

Nonetheless, Ollie’s sales have doubled in four years. It moves more than $1 billion a year of low-priced goods from its large (30,000 square feet or so), no-frills stores like the one in Sterling. Profits are at a high, nearly $130 million.

Abram Brown's article in this month's Forbes Magazine retails the success story that is Ollie's, in an era when retailers are retrenching and retooling their market strategies. Retail companies announced 3,400 store closures last year, with plans to shutter a record 155 million square feet of shops. Those numbers will skyrocket in 2019: Retailers announced 4,300 store closures in just the first nine weeks of the year.

As Abram's points out, Ollie’s is the exception to the rule. Not only is it opening new locations, shares in Ollie’s have quintupled since its IPO in 2015. And every Ollie’s store has been profitable within a year of opening.

To read more about how Ollie's is thriving in today's competitive marketplace, click here to read the full article...

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Outdoor Communal Retail Spaces Are Getting Smaller

Communal and outdoor living spaces at retail centers are transitioning from big and flashy to a series of scaled-down living rooms.

GlobeSt.com, By Kelsi Maree Borland | February 26, 2019 at 04:00 AM

Outdoor communal spaces at retail centers are getting smaller. Open gathering spaces have become a standard at retail centers, but they started as large, flashy spaces with programming. Now, retail owners are opting to create a series of smaller living rooms with amenities like WIFI. Most importantly, these living room-style spaces are well designed and could be a key component to attracting locals, increasing foot traffic and competing with online outlets.

“Everything we hear is about brick and mortar competing with online sales. With this in mind, a key component, a key differentiator from an online commodity driven retail experience, is simply treating the guest experience as the anchor,” Greg Lyon owner, principal and design director at Nadel Architects, tells GlobeSt.com. “In other words, the environment that a development provides for its guests and shoppers is the anchor. People will always gravitate towards a well amenitized ‘outdoor living room’ where they can hang out and socialize, and that is what will always set brick and mortar apart from the online experience.”

The Year of the Fry

French Fries Get A Makeover As Restaurant Competition Heats Up

Forbes.com, Alicia Kelso

Is it too early to declare this the Year of the Fry?

Think about it. McDonald’s just launched limited-time cheesy bacon fries, no doubt targeting Wendy’s Baconator Fries (which, to be fair, have been around for nearly four years). Wendy’s responded to the launch by putting its version in the promotional spotlight – free Baconator Fries to anyone who ordered through the brand’s mobile app – inciting a bacon fry battle of sorts to start the New Year.

French fries have long been a quick-service staple, as well as the subject of intense debate over which brand does them best. However, a case can be made that recent launches have been different. Sexier.

Consider Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries, for example. First introduced in January 2018, the Nacho Fries quickly became the brand’s most successful product launch ever – more than 53 million orders were sold in the product’s first three months alone. The fries made up more than 30% of all Taco Bell orders, yielding both check and transaction increases.

So successful was this product launch, Taco Bell has already brought it back twice as a limited-time offer. Nacho Fries were inarguably a major factor in the chain’s strong 2018 performance.